Physics professor working with a student

Faculty


Steve Feller

Steven Feller

B.D. Silliman Professor of Physics

B.S., Clarkson College of Technology
Sc.M., Ph.D., Brown University

Email: sfeller@coe.edu

Steve Feller’s research in physics centers on the atomic structure and physical properties of glass. Feller’s group work on determining the atomic structure of glass and its relationship to the physical properties. They make new-to-the-world glasses with unusual compositions and use a variety of in-house methods that can cool liquids at 100,000 oC/s or heat our samples to nearly 3000 oC. Feller's Group determines the atomic structure using a number of modern techniques: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Neutron Scattering, Raman Spectroscopy, Infrared Spectroscopy and modern calculational tools. 

They compare the structure to a number of important physical properties including: density and packing efficiencies; thermal properties including the glass transition temperature, the crystallization temperatures, the specific heat; the velocity of sound in glass and the various strength parameters.  The comparison is done using computer models, many of which are developed in house.

After teaching at Coe College for 39 years, Feller does full-time research with students. Since 1979, he worked with over 150 students, published over 150 papers in the refereed literature of the field. He has also edited a number of books on glass science. Steve and his students have given over 200 presentations at well over 100 national and international conferences. Funding from 93 grants for over $8,200,000 has been secured since 1983 from a large number of foundations including the National Science Foundation. He also has a research-level interest in numismatics, the study of the history of money. In this area he has published over 100 articles and several books.

AWARDS:

He has been honored a number of ways including: Society of Glass Technology (SGT) Centenary Fellow (2016). Fellow of the American Ceramic Society (2003) and the British Society of Glass Technology (2003), Physics Club Chapter Advisor of the Year by the national Society of Physics Students (2000), Distinguished Iowa Scientist by the Iowa Academy of Sciences (1999), Fulbright Scholar (1996), Iowa Professor of the Year (1995) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. American Physical Society Prize to a Faculty Member for Research in an Undergraduate Institution (1993). C.J. Lynch Prize as Teacher of the Year (1993).

From 1996-2002 he served on the national board of the Society of Physics Students. In 2002 he was elected the president of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, a position he was reelected to in 2004. He was the chair of the organizing committee of the 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2019 Sigma Pi Sigma Congresses.

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Mario Affatigato

Mario Affatigato

Fran Allison and Francis Halpin Professor of Physics

B.A., Coe College
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Email: maffatig@coe.edu

Dr. Affatigato’s personal research interests lie in the area of the optical and electrical properties of glasses and the relationship between such properties and the structure of the glass.

Affatigato’s research groups primarily work on the use of laser light in the manufacture and study of glasses. In one project, for instance, laser light is used to melt a glass bead while it is being levitated by a gas. In another, Raman spectroscopy is used to look at changes in the structure of glasses. In a third project, student researchers look at the molecules that come off a glass as it is hit by UV laser light. Dr. Affatigato and his students also work on projects such as development of glass that kills bacteria, or developing conducting glasses that can be used in particle detectors. Mario and his students also map the surface topography of glasses using atomic force microscopy.

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Ugur Akgun

Ugur Akgun

Associate Professor of Physics

B.S., Middle East Technical University
Ph.D., University of Iowa

Email: uakgun@coe.edu

Ugur's research area expands from experimental high energy physics to computational biophysics. He is involved in Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland. Ugur is also member of SELEX and MIPP experiments at Fermi National Laboratory, in Batavia, Illinois. His main expertise is on radiation hard particle detectors. His recent projects include novel glass detectors, such as neutron detectors for homeland security, 3 dimensional dosimeters, and proton imaging detector. Ugur’s group develop the novel materials, design and perform the simulations of these detectors.

Ugur's secondary research area is computational biophysics. His group use various molecular dynamics simulation techniques to determine the mechanisms of membrane proteins. Ugur and his students are recently simulating P-Glycoproteins, Urea and Ammonia channels, and AQP0-CaM system.

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Firdevs Duru

Firdevs Duru

Assistant Professor of Physics

B.S., Bosphorus University
M.S., Ph.D., University of Iowa

Email: fduru@coe.edu

Firdevs’ main research interest is the ionosphere around the planets. Dr. Duru’s group analyzes the data coming from the spacecrafts Mars Express, MAVEN, Juno and Cassini.

 

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Caio Barca Bragatto

Caio Barca Bragatto

Assistant Professor of Physics

B.S., University of Sao Paulo
M.S., Ph.D., Federal University of Sao Carlos
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Jena

Email: cbragatto@coe.edu

Caio Bragatto is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Coe College (Iowa, USA). Bragatto earned his B.S. degree in Industrial Chemistry from the Universidade de São Paulo (São Paulo, Brasil), and his Masters and Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the Universidade Federal de São Carlos (São Paulo, Brasil). Before being hired as an Assistant Professor, Bragatto worked as a research assistant at the Otto-Schott Institut für Materialwissenschaft (Thüringen, Germany). He specialized in ionic conductivity of glasses, focusing especially on unveiling the mechanisms behind the phenomena and working on a universal model to predict this property. Ionic conductive glasses are used mainly as electrolytes in solid-state batteries and sensors. To do so, Caio conducts both laboratory and computational experiments, complementing one part with the other. 

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James Cottingham

James Cottingham

Professor of Physics, Emeritus

B.A., M.S., University of Chicago
M.S., Ph.D., University of Iowa

James Cottingham performs research on musical acoustics. His specialty is free-reed instruments, including several from around the world, especially from Southeast Asia.

 

 

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James Wetzel

James Wetzel

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Physics

B.S., Ph.D., University of Iowa

James Wetzel is currently affiliated with both CERN and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory where he is actively involved in the field of experimental particle physics. His main interest is in the design, simulation, construction, and finally testing of detectors, in particular hadronic and electromagnetic calorimeters.

He has a passion for space and astronomy and has brought that to Coe by designing a general education astronomy course with lab component, which he loves to teach!

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